The wife of Phocion, a celebrated Athenian general who died 318 B.C., received a visit from a lady who was elegantly adorned with gold and jewels, and her hair festooned with pearls. The visitor was obviously impressed with her own appearance and the value of her jewelry. The hostess, while speaking with her guest as to the elegance and costliness of her dress, remarked, “My ornament is my husband, now for the twentieth year general of the Athenians.”
Her husband was known as Phocion, the Good who served a record 45 terms in office but was finally executed as an old man by the leader of Macedonia. Phocion was known for his humility and his frugal living. His wife cooked their meals and he drew his own water and chopped his own wood. He could have been very wealthy because of his office but he refused many offers of money even from Alexander the Great. Both husband and wife were known for their manners, moderation, and modesty. Note that this was in pagan Greece before any Christian influence.
It is possible that the Apostle Paul had the above couple or a similar one in mind when he warned in 1Tim. 2:9 “In like manner also, that women adorn themselves in modest apparel, with shamefacedness and sobriety; not with broided hair, or gold, or pearls, or costly array.” For us to suggest that women be modest in apparel, attitude, and actions as Paul commanded is almost quaint. Moreover, not only do feminists go ballistic but also many closet feminists in our churches are quick to demand the right to wear whatever they choose, even if the Apostle Paul or their husbands disagree.
Modesty means a “regard for decency of behavior, speech, dress, etc.; moderation”–a quality not seen much anymore. God has always required decency going back to the Garden of Eden when He dressed Adam and Eve with animal skins to hide their nakedness. PETA wasn’t around then to protest.
Concerning the priests in Israel, Moses commanded in Ex. 28:42, “And thou shalt make them linen breeches to cover their nakedness.” Pagan priests of Bacchus and other pagan gods often ministered naked. God demanded a higher standard for His priests requiring purity and decency in every part of the Divine worship, in opposition to the shocking indecency of the pagans.
In the New Testament God required women to be known for shamefacedness and sobriety. Ladies wore the stola , a simple female covering that was often highly ornamented with gold and precious stones. Both among the Greek and Roman women, their hair was often crisped and curled in a complex manner with gold and silver strands woven throughout. God warned against excessive, opulent appearance since Christians are to draw people to Christ, not to themselves. Christian women were to be known for godliness, not gaiety, and gaudiness. They still are.
Clothes have been used since the beginning of time for defense, for decency, and for decoration. The Bible warns that Christians should dress nicely, neatly, but not naughtily. That principle, if followed, would decimate the female clothes’ market if implemented by Christians alone.
Christians and decent non-Christians should be modest without being archaic. One can go to the extremes of wearing clothes that reveal what only a spouse should see or of wearing antiquated clothes thereby drawing attention to one’s self. Both extremes are wrong.
Parents should train young children to be modest by teaching them that their bodies are sacred and private, not dirty. It is scandalous that parents are careless with their bodies and permit boys and girls to be cavalier with uncovered bodies in the home. Children should be taught modesty but not prudery.
Schools, both public and Christian, have contributed to lack of modesty by gang showers whereby many girls or boys shower at the same time. That saves money in construction but can destroy insecure young people. Of course, the possibility of the opposite sex going into a public bathroom is indecent, inane, and insane. Radical leftists are so concerned about how a “transgender” person might feel but have absolutely no concern for the visual, mental, and possible physical assault of innocent youth of the opposite sex.
Even Billy Graham, known as a very principled person in his personal life, went swimming nude with President Lyndon Johnson in the White House pool. Billy should have told the very vulgar and vile president that he never undressed for anyone except for his wife.
One of the most distasteful, disgraceful, and degrading incidents showing total disregard for modesty and decency was Megyn Kelly’s interview with Harold Stern who is known for his vulgarity. Megyn was dressed provocatively almost falling out of her blouse. Stern made a big deal how she was dressed. She laughed when Howard asked her about the size of her husband’s sex organ. She laughed when he asked the same question about Roger Ailes! She laughed when he asked the possibility of having sex with Bill O’Reilly. He got her to admit that her breasts were real and discussed the size of them! He asked, “Did you have sex during your pregnancy?” “Was the size of your husband’s penis important to you?” “Do you have a good sex life?” A modest woman would have been off the stage within seconds.
He asked her to choose from each of three questions: “Whom would you marry?” then “Whom would you have sex with?” and “Whom would you kill?” She was to choose from Bill O’Reilly, Sean Hannity, and Glenn Beck. She played his game saying she would marry Hannity, have sex with O’Reilly, and kill Beck. Megyn can’t even spell modesty.
If her priest had any convictions, he would remove her from the membership of her church. And if Fox officials had any character, they would fire her.
Surely, her husband and three children were horrified. How could anyone in the family be seen in public after that interview? I wonder if her husband reprimanded her and forbade her to appear on Stern’s show again! Of course, almost everyone reading this will say that he has no right to forbid her from doing anything. Yea, but that’s another column.
Ancient Greek women would not have been as crude, coarse, and callous as Kelly. For sure, she would not say as did the Greek general’s wife, “My husband is my ornament.”
I have scorn for Kelly, sorrow for her family, and am scared for America.
Boys’ new book Muslim Invasion: The Fuse is Burning! was published recently by Barbwire Books; t o get your copy, click here . An eBook edition is also available.
(Dr. Don Boys is a former member of the Indiana House of Representatives; ran a large Christian school in Indianapolis, wrote columns for USA Today for eight years; authored 15 books and hundreds of columns and articles for Internet and print media publications; defended his beliefs on hundreds of talk shows. These columns go to newspapers, magazines, television, and radio stations and may be used without change from title through the end tag. His web sites are www.cstnews.com and www.Muslimfact.com and www.thegodhaters.com . Contact Don for an interview or talk show.)